Veeam Software, the fast-growing company that has become a seriously big deal in the cloud backup world over the past several years, has announced enhancements to several of its popular backup products.
Taken together, the announcements go beyond backup, to what Veeam calls "unleashing the data." For most organizations, that means enabling both data portability and reuse. Veeam Chief Technology Officer Danny Allan pointed to the cloud, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and virtual environments as the most important enablers of those trends today, and the announcements mirrored those trends.
The first announcement centers around Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. Version 5, which will be available during the third quarter of 2020, now includes native API for Microsoft Teams. This supports Teams by backing up data, channels, settings and tabs. It also enables granular search and find across Teams components.
First launched to protect Microsoft Exchange, Backup for Office 365 is now coming into its own, Allan said, with modern authentication. The ability to recover any item within Microsoft Teams at the granular item level is more important than ever, he said, because of the intellectual property in use during communication and collaboration.
Christophe Bertrand, a senior analyst at analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group, said the addition of Teams backup and improved authentication capabilities are particularly timely in this current environment. "It will help organizations reinforce their compliance posture and preserve important information, IP and data that is exchanged on this collaboration platform," he said.
Another of Veeam's backup products also got an upgrade: Backup for AWS, originally introduced late last year. The product provides AWS-native Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) backup and recovery, and can be used either as a standalone AWS backup and disaster recovery solution for AWS-to-AWS backup or integrated with the Veeam platform.
New capabilities found in Version 2 of Backup for AWS include replication and recovery of Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) snapshots across AWS accounts and regions and integration with the newly released Changed Block Tracking (CBT) API. Snapshot replication makes it easier to replicate into a second availability zone to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery, while the CBT API can improve backup speed and outcome, Allan said.
Other new capabilities in Version 2 include application-consistent snapshots and backups of Amazon EC2 without shutting down or disconnecting attached Amazon EBS volumes, and public RESTful API to securely connect external applications and workflows to integrate with and manage Veeam Backup for AWS. With this capability, organizations can control jobs and policies via one control plane across hybrid cloud environments, Allan added.
"Our research on cloud and cloud backup and recovery makes it clear that protecting applications and data wherever they are hosted is a key business and IT mandate. End users need a hybrid solution that truly supports cloud-based workloads," Bertrand said. "With the current situation, the ability to further leverage AWS for business continuity and disaster recovery is definitely a plus."
Orchestrating Failover and Restoration
Veeam also announced Version 3 of Veeam Availability Orchestrator, which helps orchestrate failover and restoration. The new version adds full recovery orchestration support for NetApp ONTAP snapshots. In addition, it features the new DR Pack, a purpose-built disaster recovery planning and compliance solution for all workloads.
Finally, Veeam announced Version 11 of Availability Suite, a data management solution that works across clouds. The new version includes near continuous data protection (CDP); object storage integrations for AWS Glacier, AWS Glacier Deep Archive and Microsoft Azure Blog Storage Archive Tier; and instant recovery of any backup to a Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machine, NAS backup content, Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases.
CDP, which provides virtual machine replication with fast recovery point objectives (RPOs), is an important advance, Allan said.
"The replication we have within our platform today is based on snapshots, but CDP will be based on an API inside the vSphere hypervisor. This API, called the vSphere API for IO filtering, allows you to bring down your RPOs and recovery time objectives [RTOs] to truly seconds," he explained.
CDP is definitely the biggest takeaway of the Veeam Availability Suite Version 11, Bertrand agreed. Not only does it change the game in terms of RPO and RTO, but Veeam needed to make this change to compete in the enterprise space and further its ability to support mission-critical workloads. It will be key in acquiring new customers or upselling and displacing competitors in large, multivendor accounts where Veeam is already present, he said.
"Veeam is taking multiple 'hills' at a time in what has become an intense competitive battlefield in the space of data protection, which has never been more dynamic," Bertrand said. "I expect to see a lot more in terms of intelligent data management moving forward, in particular around data reuse, which is the future for the space."